New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has her own shady fund of discretionary taxpayer money, which The New York Times estimates to be nearly $18 million, which she doles out to organizations primarily of her own choosing.
The Times tomorrow will expose the fact that Speaker Quinn is continuing her practise of using controversial City Council discretionary funds to control or intimidate council members. Speaker Quinn still has ''final say'' over how the slush funds are being allocated, The Times will report.
'In the race for earmarks, status often trumps economic need, council members say. Council leaders and those who curry favor with the speaker, Christine C. Quinn, consistently win the largest share of the pot.''
The Times will also revisit the famous case of Elizabeth S. Crowley, a councilwoman from Queens, who earned the political retribution in the form of a very low amount of $80,000 discretionary funds after she ''issued a news release in the middle of budget negotiations taking credit for saving 62 firehouses,'' The Times report will also show.
The Times will also remind us of councilman Larry B. Seabrook of the Bronx, ''who was indicted last year on charges of money laundering, extortion and fraud related to his use of discretionary funds.''
Speaker Quinn's politicisation of her allocation of the discretionary funds has attracted the attention of Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president. He plans to ''release his own study of the Council’s discretionary spending, said the city should consider distributing the money on the basis of economic need for each district, or simply give each member an equal amount,'' The Times will report.